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Co-ed Combat: The New Evidence That Women Shouldn't Fight the Nation's Wars Hardcover – November 8, 2007

3.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Women serving in the armed forces deserve their nation's thanks, law professor Browne announces in his first paragraph, quickly adding that they are unfit to be soldiers. To support his argument, Browne presents an avalanche of intriguing psychological and military studies that examine male-female differences. He points to evidence that men are generally better able to carry the necessary gear, and that although even noncombatant women must be prepared to fight hand-to-hand, they are generally more cautious: we would rather solve the situation; if somebody has to die, then nobody really wins, explains one. Men have superior hand-eye coordination and situational awareness as well as a greater willingness to take risks and function better in hierarchies, he says. Women are more democratic and tend to resent taking orders, especially from other women, but overwhelmingly oppose complete equality (e.g., being assigned combat roles involuntarily on the same basis as men). Since Browne makes no secret of his opinion and is a lawyer, readers may suspect they are hearing only one side of the case. Still, the question of how women should be treated within the military is timely. (Nov. 1)
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About the Author

Kingsley Browne is a professor of law at Wayne State University Law School, specializing in employment discrimination and other aspects of employment law. He also teaches evidence, torts, and a seminar in law, biology, and behavior. Prior to law school, he did graduate work in physical anthropology. A former U.S. Supreme Court clerk, he spent five years in private practice before switching to teaching.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel HC; 1St Edition edition (November 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595230430
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This new book by Kingsley Browne is an excellent review of the latest physcial, psychological, and experiential reasons for keeping women out of the combat arms. He does not denigrate anyone's service, including many women who have been wounded in combat, as has been suggested. He does require readers to give up certain myths that he explodes, but especially that women and men are interchangeable. He does not conclude that there are no women capable of meeting the standards of modern combat, but that they are few and far between. He does point out that even though a few rare women might be able to meet the present combat standards it would still change the relationship of soldiers in the field from one of philia to one of eros. He points out that team work and esprit-de-corps or male-bonding is what creates the camaradery which makes men kill and if necessary die for each other. The introduction of women into this all-male enclave would change the relationships and reduce male-bonding and because of that combat effectiveness. He is quite right when he remarks that combat effectiveness should be the only issue with regard to any change to the combat arms of the US military. Those who claim to be disgusted by a book they haven't read should read the book, and then think about the nature of war and what combat effectiveness means.
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Format: Hardcover
Kingsley Browne's book is the latest evolution of the buyer's remorse whic those who are concerned with the readiness of the United States military have had since women were first integrated on a large scale level in the 1970s. If Brian Mitchell's "Women in the Military" coalesced my own doubts and observations about female policy and Stephanie Gutmann's "The Kinder, Gentler Military" reinforced them, then Browne's effort updates and solidifies them.

It is the first serious book on the matter since the US military was committed to the Global War on Terror and therefore either very timely or somewhat overdue. For those on the margins looking for either a robust rejection of feminism or an excuse to ignore his thesis because it is inherently anti-woman will both be sorely disappointed. Quite frankly, it is the most dispassionate exhortation for us to take a second and honest look at our laws and policies that I have read on the subject. With a topic that generates a lot of heat on both sides, perhaps it is Browne's profession (law) which allows him to lay out the argument for reconsideration in such a logical, unemotional and, ultimately, compelling manner.

Browne catalogues a long list of reasons why women should be barred in direct ground combat. Much of the information is established -if conveniently forgotten by bureaucrats and politicians-and some of it, if not new, has at least gone largely unmentioned in the past. Browne reminds us that pregnancy rates, sexual misconduct, double standards, cohesion problems, POW issues, and leadership differences all contribute to an integration problem that cannot be wished away with training or regulations.
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent and well done. It is about time someone wrote a book like this. The data presented in this book mirrors very closely my military experience as an active duty chemical officer in the mid 1980's. This book is well researched (anyway as well as a topic like this can be researched when certain groups are trying desperately to hide the truth) yet at the same time an enjoyable read. Although educational on many levels it is not dry and boring. The author uses enough real life examples and vignettes to keep things interesting even for those who are not just interested in the military, current affairs, or politics.

The main criticism I would make of this work is that it assumes that the same (or very similar) costs do not exist in other areas (ie. medicine).

I would suggest that this book be required reading for any politician who has anything to do with the military, all officer courses, and all the military academies.
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Format: Hardcover
This book should be read by every member of congress. It is an excellent piece of work that is very well documented with both facts and real world stories. This book dares to say something non PC and it should be applauded for that by itself. So much nowadays the mere thought enrages the liberals. This book stands in defiance of that plight.

The book deals with the issue of a coed military as it is. It doesn't criticize the women but addresses the issue as what it is, God made differences. Frequently the women work harder than the guys. The problems come with how females and males interact, especially when young and of child bearing years. It is hard to concentrate on winning the war then. Also women tend not to have the aggressiveness necessary to close with the enemy and kill them nor the upper body strength to stay in the field for very long. Look at Iraq now. There isn't much of a push button safe military there. The threat effects everyone equally.

These differences are undermining combat efficiency in the name of political correctness. Those false Gods might work well in the everyday work place but doesn't work to well in combat. The military in a combat zone is totally different than anything else. You are there 24/7. Everything else is different. You get to go home or have a break in those occupations. These differences between the sexes as documented in the book are so deep it can't be "trained" away. We have 30 years of experiences now that proves that point. The only thing that hides the shortfalls is how the intensity of combat has been less than in previous wars. To prove the point compare casualty lists from Vietnam vs now.

As a Veteran myself I can relate and verify the stories in the book. I urge people to read this book.
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